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  • Maanasa Vinay

Plywood Alternatives Available in the Market

There are many types of plywood alternatives available in the market which are also known as wood boards. They are manufactured as engineered boards but technically are not plywoods. Many a times these options are used as alternatives to plywoods depending on the needs like cost saving, look and feel, etc.

The other types of engineered wood options available in the market are Fibreboard. Fiberboards is an engineered wood made of plant fibres, wood flakes, sawdust, wood chips and other recycled materials like paper, cardboards, etc. all glued together using synthetic resin under high pressure, heat to form a composite sheets or boards. In these type of boards, you will not get to see knots or grains as in the regular wood or in plywood. However they can be a good cost effective alternatives to plywood. There are 4 basic types of fibreboards:

1. Low Density Fibreboards (LDF) or Particleboards:

Low-density fibreboards are often classified as particleboards and are often used as underlay in the interior design projects, such as kitchen cabinets, wardrobes or in furniture making. While it is the cheapest alternative available, the fact that it is susceptible to moisture makes it unsuitable for outdoor use. The density of this type of board is about 160-450 kg/m3 and the lowest in density of the three boards and also is the cheapest of all types of boards.

2. Medium Density Fibreboards (MDF):

Medium-density fibreboard, also known as MDF, is the most common type of fibreboards. This type of engineered wood is made from wood particles and fibres from hardwood or softwood glued together using resin to form a composite material called MDF. It is the least expensive alternative to plywood and stronger and more durable in comparison to LDF or particle boards. The density of this type of board is about 600-800 kg/m3. Disadvantages of MDF is that you will not find grain or knots as you would see in regular wood and it can crack easily because it cannot handle as much stress in comparison to plywood. However, you might find many of the interior designers recommending to use MDF in their design elements because it is easy to cut and paint.

3. High Density Fibreboards (HDF) or Hardboards:

High density fibreboards or HDF are commonly known as hardboards. These type of boards are thin in construction made from small pieces of wood and resin compressed together to form hardboards. The density of this kind of board is usually between 600-1450 kg/m3 Hardboards are more durable than MDF despite being thin frame and hence you might find it being used in furniture where laminates can be applied on top.

4. Moisture Resistant Particleboards: This type of particleboards are similar to LDF the major difference is that the moisture resistant resin (generally green in colour) is used in the construction that helps the boards to withstand high moisture content in the environment and prevent it from swelling or bending.

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